Author Topic: Should I buy a scooter?  (Read 6404 times)

slockett11

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Should I buy a scooter?
« on: May 29, 2016, 10:39:10 AM »
I'm having a devil of a time giving myself permission to buy a scooter and wanted to get some feedback from the mustache community. So here is my scenario:
I started cycling to work 2-3 days a week almost 2 years ago. At the time I owned a 2001 Chevy cavalier with 175,000 miles on it that I drove some days of the week. My commute is 12 miles round trip. I am able to live mostly within the 5 miles of my house (grocery 1 mile away, library 3 miles away, beach is .25miles away!).
6 months ago I gave the cavalier away to a very dear friend of mine who needed a car more than I did and so I am now 100% on my bike. My wife has a car so we are a 1 car family but I find I only use it 2-5 times a month for errands such as a Sams run etc.
While I enjoy cycling to work there are times when I'm tired (or have been under the weather) and have not wanted to cycle to work but have done so because I had no other option. At the start of the year I looked into getting a motorcycle or scooter and found one on Facebook that a friend of a friend was selling at a fair price. It was a 150cc scooter that was 7 years old but had less than 2000 miles on it. I got my motorcycle endorsement and the scooter. However the scooter has been somewhat unreliable and spent another $500 in parts/repairs so I'm into this non working scooter for about $2000 (if it was running I might be able to sell it for around $1200).
I'm now thinking about scrapping it (might be able to get $250) and buying a new scooter for around $3000. I could pay cash for it but would have to lower my retirement contributions for the year by about $2000. We are on track to contribute just over $40,000 which is around 50% of our income.
I'm just having such a hard time that the 1st scooter was a bust. I felt like I did my research, brought used as my 1st scooter and had my finances all lined up. I'm I being iustachian if a buy the scooter? Should I just suck it up and cycle everywhere?
Dear lord I feel like I'm on an episode of Suzie Norman's can I afford it segment lol
What do you fine folks think?

tobitonic

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Re: Should I buy a scooter?
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2016, 11:09:12 AM »
I'd recommend pretty much any car before a scooter due to safety reasons. And you can get a car that'll run for quite a while for $3000.

ubermich

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Re: Should I buy a scooter?
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2016, 11:10:20 AM »
Out of curiosity, was the 150cc a Chinese gy6 based model? If so, what is wrong with it currently and do you do your own repairs?

abiteveryday

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Re: Should I buy a scooter?
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2016, 11:39:37 AM »
My wife commutes by bike some days, and on a 50cc Aprilia the rest.   It has been everything she wants; easy free parking, faster than any transit, extremely fuel efficient, and fun.    We got it for $500, and it's been great.    Only works if you don't need to go freeway speed of course.

Goldielocks

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Re: Should I buy a scooter?
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2016, 12:08:05 PM »
Get an electric bike.

I did the commute by bike FT, then an upgrade with  electric bike kit, then scooter thing over 2-3 years...in 2006.

The scooter was new 160cc and a knock off brand.  I liked it, but the new electric bikes are virtually similar in hauling grocery abilty and torque.  (10 years makes a large difference in ebike technology).   Then there was the whole motorcycle licensing thing and registration.

The ebike does NOT need insurance.   Can hold MORE groceries.  And you still get as much exercise as you care to.

The only drawback is that the ebike could not be used to pick up my 5 year old from kindergarten like the scooter could.  (let the hissing ensue)

slockett11

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Re: Should I buy a scooter?
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2016, 12:57:18 PM »
Thanks for the responses!
@tobitonic while I know many folks feel the same as you do, I don't believe the scooter to be anymore dangerous overall than cycling everyday plus I don't want the cost of owning another car
@ubermich no it is a kymco people 150 2009. Was rated as one of the top scooters that year
@abiteveryday sounds like all the reasons I want a scooter too! While I won't be on the highway I want the 150cc engine for a little bit more fun 😎
@goldielocks I hadn't really considered am electric bike and will have to do more research on it. Thanks for the suggestion

I guess my bigger question/thought/concern is why this decision to buy a "thing" has put me in quite a state. While a larger purchase than normal it fits into our budget and I feel I would enjoy it a lot. It will not slow our fi/er journey by any significant amount. I fear I may be becoming a bit of a Scrooge not wanting to spend any money. Do others deal with this delimma?

seattleite

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Re: Should I buy a scooter?
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2016, 04:06:07 PM »
Scooters are awesome. Go for it. I ride a scooter to work every day, 8 miles each way. The safety aspect as another commenter brought up depends on your commute. I stay off of the highway and prefer to be on roads that have a 35 MPH speed limit, but there's a stretch of road that I use with a 45 MPH speed limit but very little traffic and I'm ok with that, though I normally go only 40.

I had a big windfall and substantially increased income several years ago but with the need to drive to work instead of walking. I opted for a scooter and it has worked out great. The funny thing is that I had toyed with the idea of buying a Porsche Cayman or Tesla Model S for my commute since I had the cash sitting in my bank account. I'm happy I made the decision buy the scooter and use the rest for some AAPL (which as increased considerably since then).

frugaliknowit

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Re: Should I buy a scooter?
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2016, 04:18:49 PM »
What about using city/county transit when you don't feel like riding your bike?

Assuming that's not possible and or agreeable, I have no problem spending $3,000 on a scooter Ebike, why the heck not?

ubermich

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Re: Should I buy a scooter?
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2016, 08:00:16 PM »
The Kymco is a gy6 variant, albeit one of the best there is.  If you have any interest in working on it yourself almost everything on it can be repaired with a few hand tools.  In my experience none of the gy6 variants are a good value if you pay someone else to fix them.

I will agree that the car is a safer option than the scooter, but that doesn't really mean anything.  Jogging in the park is safer than playing hockey, but I'm not about to stop playing hockey.  I'm also not sure the scooter is more dangerous than riding a bicycle...

But as far as your real question goes.  The process I learned and adapted goes as follows: decide I want it, allocate for it in the budget, set the funds aside (not pull from some other account), then pay cash.  If you're this torn about it I'm assuming you really want it.  The next step would be to discuss altering the budget with your other half.  Have you already had this conversation?  Usually if I want something hair-brained my wife is the good angel to shut it down and keep me on track.  If I want something that I don't think is worth what is has been deemed to be worth by the rest of the world my wife is the one to remind me how cheap I am and to just buy it (or she'll buy it for me knowing I won't buy it for myself).

Syonyk

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Re: Should I buy a scooter?
« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2016, 10:11:35 PM »
Electric bike (or electric bike conversion and your current bike), some good cargo bags, and you're set.  You're already cycling a lot, and what you refer to as reasons for not cycling (being a bit sore, under the weather, etc) are days you can just turn the assist up a bit and still rock the bike.

If you have a nice road bike, I wouldn't convert it into an electric bike - keep it "pure" for riding.

The Rad Wagon is my current suggestion for "I want an ebike" questions - it's a long tail cargo bike with a damned good motor for $1600 plus shipping.

https://syonyk.blogspot.com/2016/03/rad-power-bikes-rad-wagon-review.html

It's a legitimate car replacement bike, and can also carry kid seats. ;)

slockett11

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Re: Should I buy a scooter?
« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2016, 06:15:50 AM »
@syonyk those look freaking awesome! Mind.Blown. lol thanks for the info seriously considering this as an option

Syonyk

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Re: Should I buy a scooter?
« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2016, 07:48:48 AM »
Don't convert a cheap, beat up bike. It's more trouble than you save.